I had inquired about it as I felt very refreshed after drinking hot kava from the hotel the evening before. It can be said that black tea is unique to Kashmir. A traditional drink. Kashmiri kahva is a mixture of saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, and honey. Sometimes green tea and Kashmiri rose petals are added. There are even people who drink it after every meal. Improves digestion, cleanses the stomach, and strengthens the immune system. Kashmiris add saffron to many food items for flavor and aroma. We decided to buy some of this mixture anyway.
We went to Pahalgam via NH 44. Through this, we can go to Jammu. It is about 11 km from Srinagar. After a few minutes, I saw a small town called Pampore. The place belongs to the Pulwama district. There are many shops along the highway. Everywhere is very busy. Saffron and other dry fruits are the selling items there. One thing was understood from shop boards and other billboards. Pampore is a saffron hub. There are saffron plantations in the surrounding villages and sales centers in the town. Kesar is the name of saffron in the Kashmiri language. So this place is Kesar village (saffron village).
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is cultivated in Kashmir in India. The traders bought it from us at the rate of 250 rupees per gram, saying that it was the best quality. When I wanted to see any agricultural land nearby, I found out that it had been sown recently after the harvest. Among the other store-bought dry fruits, walnuts are the main ones. I used to buy it from local shops for a long time, but I didn’t know that it mainly grows in Kashmir. Although unable to see the orchards, Lider took a photo from under a lone walnut tree by the river. The bark and wood of this tree, called ‘Doen’ by the natives, is very slippery. It is a daily occurrence that many people who climb to pick dry fruits slip and fall to the ground during the harvest. The Department of Agriculture is constantly warning about this.
This tree grows to a height of 75 feet. 90 percent of India’s walnut cultivation is in Kashmir. As no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used in this cultivation, Kashmiri products are loved abroad as organic walnut.
When he continued his journey again, he saw a couple of apple orchards on the roadside and got down there. As Kashmiri apples are bought from fruit shops in the country, why not visit its orchard? The overseer of the orchard said that the harvest was over and a few were left unpicked for tourists. Thoottamonnum went around and with his permission picked a few and weighed them and bought them at Rs 100 per kg. It was only when I tasted it that I realized its greatness. I was saddened to think that what I had been buying and eating in the country for so long was something called Apple. Apart from wheat and barley, rice is also cultivated in Kashmir. During the journey, we also saw rice fields that had been harvested.
Chinar trees were seen as the special tree of Kashmir. This tree was brought and planted in Kashmir by Sufi scholar Hazrat Syed Quasim in the 14th century. Its wood is used to make various types of furniture. A dye is made from the roots to color cloth. Among the Chinar trees that grow almost everywhere in Kashmir, Shalimar Garden has the oldest. More than 380 years old, more than 150 feet tall, and more than 50 feet in weight. A board with a description was also seen under one of them.
Although Pahalgam means the valley of the shepherds, neither goats nor shepherds were seen anywhere. But in a couple of places, their dwellings were seen from very high up. Flat huts made entirely of wood. The saffron fields could not be seen due to the wrong time. There is one such loss. Tulips, if you want to see them, come in April. Asia’s largest tulip garden is located at Siraj Bagh in Srinagar. Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden is spread over 30 hectares.